I find it so hard to fathom a standing ovation in response to William Bowen’s indecorous remarks. F. Scott Fitzgerald famous lines in his short story The Rich Boy came to my mind:
”Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.”
It would be too simple to dismiss this commencement speech as a sad composition of a dotard. But William Bowen is still a man in power who chose to defend violence in response to peaceful assembly, forcefully, at a Quaker College. And apparently the administration, faculty, and alumni roared with approval. Huzzah!
I cannot think of a reason other than class for Bowen’s obscene performance, but then again I wasn’t born rich,
My sentiments are with the 40 students and 4 faculty who protested the college granting Robert Birgeneau an Honorary Doctorate.
Haverford’s president, Dan Wiess, whose affection for Haverford was cemented while working under Haverford Alumni at the behemoth government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton early in his career, was undeterred by Robert Birgeneau’s refusal to be honored by the college. He was able to quickly fill the slot of commencement speaker with an even less subtle bigot.
"Not just those protestors, but nearly everyone today is driven by supernatural concerns, however much or little they realize it. Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives — together with politicians, artists, environmentalists, followers of food fads, and the chattering classes of television commentators: America is filled with people frantically seeking confirmation of their own essential goodness. We are a nation of individuals desperate to stand on the side of morality—anxious to know that we are righteous and dwell in the light."
Joseph Bottum quoted* in an article by Nathan Scheider at Waging Nonviolience. A conservative who was right about Occupy
*An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, Amazon Review Q&A with Bottum
"As Raunig sees it, academics largely took the hijacking of the university lying down, preferring to game the changing system so as to guarantee their own job security rather than concern themselves with the future of education."
Adam Morris in The LA Review of Books. Adam Morris on Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience and Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity
Disobedience & Miseducation: Occupy and the Academy
"[L]ittle by little, each step in a radical critique of society and formulation of alternatives can we develop and practice in the midst of our coercive social conditions ways in which we may one day free ourselves from the existing sociohistorical conditions as efficacious, liberated and free-flourishing subjects."
— R. C. Smith at Heathwood Press. In defense of Occupy’s emphasis on non-dominant, non-hierarchical organisation
"Although you can – as the anarchist slogan says – “live despite capitalism”, you can’t live “despite” fascism, genocidal racism, extreme sexual counter-revolution and war. As the gears of mainstream politics and economic crisis clash and grind above their heads, I would expect this realisation to be the guiding factor in where the movements that began in 2011 turn next."
— Paul Mason in The Guardian. From Arab Spring to global revolution
In an excerpt from his book Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, Paul Mason argues that a global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay
"One of the unique characteristics of the Occupy movement is how it has continually stymied attempts at its domestication by refusing to articulate demands. In other words, it has embraced a politics of the gesture, of bodily presence and weight, wherein the exterior action of inhabiting a park or a sidewalk becomes the basis of politics and the accepted political arena becomes a sham. This politics, like the world of puppets, is premised on exteriority. It is a politics that hinges on the ceaseless weaving together of movement and stasis."
Craig Epplin at The Reanimation Library. Puppets Are Not People
"As a result, Native people have to pick their battles. Even in cases where they win, their victories tend to be only temporary. Quite often, their success depends on meaningful solidarity in these struggles from non-Native people. Such solidarity begins with a genuine attempt to understand the specific issues Native people are facing. It must also include reckoning with the fact that they continue to be colonized by the dominant society — something for which Columbus Day provides a perfect opportunity."
"In actual fact you want to reclaim some of your grandeur, reclaim the belief, call certain parts of yourself out of exile. Many stories end in a wedding, they end in a wedding for one reason, the storyteller is saying to you, call to the wedding the parts of you that have got edited and cut away as you age, bring it all back to the feast."
— Dr. Martin Shaw at Transition Culture. An interview with Dr. Martin Shaw: “A lot of opportunity is going to arrive in the next 20 years disguised as loss”
"They say, “In over-there-a-stan, surveillance is oppressive. But over here, it’s okay, we have a lawful process.” (Which is not necessarily a judicial process. For example, Eric Holder and the drones … sounds like a band, right?)"